Elliott Management makes bold move on Interpublic

Oliver Smith
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US ACTIVIST hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a 6.7 per cent stake in Interpublic, the world's fourth largest advertising company, in the hopes of pushing its management to consider a sale.

The hedge fund run by Paul Singer disclosed its $570m (£335.6m) stake yesterday in a regulatory filing stating that it wants to “engage in a constructive dialogue” with the company's board of directors to maximise shareholder value.

A source familiar with Elliott's position on Interpublic said it is gearing up to push the $8.4bn advertising giant on the auction block, hoping to attract the likes of Dentsu, Omnicom, Publicis or WPP.

Who will bite? Both Publicis chief executive Maurice Levy and WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell have played down interest in large deals this year after the failed $35bn Omnicom/Publicis merger in May.

Interpublic’s shares rose 1.56 per cent in New York yesterday on the news to close up at $20.15.